This year, we pulled our child out of this school. The Independence School has deteriorated a lot in the past a few years. The ways they treated parents and kids are very disrepectful and arrogant. Its enrollment rate has been declining rapidly and some teachers might soon lose their job. I agree with a prior review, with its financial problem and low enrollment, if they don't change their administration and managment philosophy, the school will soon go out of business.
My youngest child finally graduated this year from this school. I will speak the truth in fear of retaliation to my last child while attending (we had three graduated). We stayed because of the time invested years, my child was an honor student did well, and the good friends my child made at TIS. The last 3 years, the quality of teachers and administrators had declined. They fired seasoned teachers with years of experience and replaced with young inexperience low paying part-time ones to save money, while the tuition continued to increase. Many parents are very unhappy and it reflected on the lower percentage of parent participation on annual giving each year which is posted on the drive-in each day as you enter the school. The teachers and administrators speaks to students and parents with arrogance. Unhappy teachers never available for extra help after school for students. Constantly coming up with another gimmick to ask for money from parents using different tactics of fund raising activities.
When my child (an A student at Independence) transitioned to public school, she was behind in math. Do not assume that your child is ahead because he/she consistently achieves high honor roll status at this school. I was completely floored.
What saddens me is the obvious campaign to discredit this school. I am a current parent and have had children in all divisions. I continue to be pleased with the curriculum, teachers, facilities, and extracurricular activities. My children have been challenged and supported appropriately in all areas. I have seen them try new sports and other activities/clubs because of the encouragement from teachers and fellow students. While the curriculum remains focused and strong, I am happy to see that the school continues to look for ways to enhance their program (STEM, technology, etc). I have attended the parent meetings recently and am pleased with the Board's foresight and fiscal management during our country's economically challenging times. It is refreshing to see proactive rather than reactive decisions.
1) These are children not adults. The ridigity stifles the joy in learning. (2) Excessive homework and testing is an issue. The many pull-outs for specials leads to classroom disruptions and gaps in teaching. More homework means that parents are left to pick up the pieces and do the teaching at home, (3) technology is behind but slowly evolving, (4) STEM?? Many local public, independent, and parochial schools have secured grants and successfully implemented STEM for the last couple years, (5) there are some miserable, burned-out teachers who are mean (6) Bullying is a problem that gets ignored in all grades; there are some nasty, aggressive kids here (7) The head of lower school is removed and tends to devalue the concerns of the children. (8) There is special treatment to those families who give sizable funds--a school-wide, mass email "gently" outed those parents who chose not to give. (9) Some teachers are so tight with admin that it is difficult for them to remain objective. Scratch the surface and really look at the issues. There are other quality academic programs out there.
This school is overrated. It HAD a great reputation 10 years ago, but as of late the school has gone down hill. The student's behavior has been pitiful, and it saddens me. The enrollment has gone down steadily for a reason. There were 25 children in ECI. That's depressing.
I love this school. All of my children graduated from Independence with wonderful educations, a sense of belonging experience with multiple extra-curriculars, and an understanding of citizenship. They were very well prepared for high school and they all enjoyed their time at Independence.
I feel compelled to advise anyone that is looking at private schools to look very closely if they are considering Independence. Please talk to parents of current and former students. If you chose Independence it could be a very costly mistake. Many years ago, this school had a decent reputation but I fear Independence is not living up to the standards we identified with that name before the early 2000's. Technology has passed them by and frankly, our public schools are a better choice in that arena. Attendance is dropping so much that one wing is being closed and a tenant will be in place as soon as one can be found. The school is trying to figure out how to keep students safe from the new tenant. I hope they will be able to do so. Please, I caution you, talk to parents of current and former students before selecting Independence school for your precious child.
I have had two children go through early childhood at Independence. They flourished under the gentle care of their teachers. While the school is quite structured in the older levels, which was a good fit for my kids...the early childhood area was both fun and educational. I also encourage you to visit and watch these children and teachers in action. You will not be disappointed.
My recommendation to any parents who are considering the Independence School is simply this... don't put too much faith in anonymous, inaccurate postings from this site regardless of whether they're overly positive or excessively negative (1 star... Really?). You should tour the campus and meet face-to-face with the educators, staff, parents and students. Ask them why they chose Independence. Review the school's curriculum and compare it to other public and private schools in the area. Research the student-to-teacher ratio to see how it differs from other local schools. Compare the standardized test scores against other high-performing Independent schools. Check out the honors programs at local high schools and see how many of the students came from Independence. Do the research. I think you'll be extremely impressed and you'll understand why so many parents are willing to pay tuition when other "free" alternatives exist.
My child attends one of the local public schools where the teachers are so much more qualified. The school feels that piling on an excessive amount of work prepares students adequately for high school. However, teaching methods are out of date. Additionally, children get away with bad behavior due to the fact that administrators are scared to take appropriate action for fear of losing students. The administrators try and brainwash you into thinking students are getting a better education at this school. Why else? Fear of losing students. I challenge Independence parents to take a look at the the education at the surrounding public schools before you buy into what you are being sold. Why anyone would pay the tuition for this school rather than sending their child to Linden Hill or North Star is beyond me. I know many people who switched and were shocked by how much happier they are. I predict that when the new public elementary school opens on Graves Rd. this school will be out of business.
I attended The Independence School for eleven years before graduating in 2011. While Independence did prepare me appropriately for high school, I often felt trapped in an environment where administrators and teachers looked down upon me quite harshly at times for demonstrating what some would call noncompliance (but what I would just call being a kid!). The staff members of this school are quick to forget the fragility and malleability of a child's mind, and assume that every child will respond appropriately to a nearly Orwellian style of teaching and discipline. I continue to receive letters asking for donations, which I can assure you, the school will never receive from me. It seems as if they put us (the students) through hell for several years on end then expect monetary compensation in addition to what they already made from a ridiculous tuition! Also, this school demonstrates extreme shortsightedness in financial planning, given their multimillion dollar expansion and failed decision to try and fund this by adding more classes. I would not send my children to this school. The old band teacher was my favorite teacher/mentor of all time and lost his job due to bad finances.
I must agree with some of the less than stellar reviews of Independence on here, and have to wonder why so many positive reviews were posted within a week of each other. My child, who was in the early childhood program, did not have a good experience here. Despite the fact that academically, he already knew just about everything taught in their curriculum, he didn't fit their mold of a typical student at this school and was asked not to come back. Since then, I've heard from other parents that this is not an uncommon occurrence at this school. Before our child started here, we were told that children's individual differences are acknowledged and celebrated - not true. Despite the smaller class size and opportunity for plenty of one-on-one interaction, I saw little effort made in the classroom to help my child in the areas in which he struggled. In my opinion, there is not much to set this school apart from local public schools, and nothing to recommend it over other private schools in the area.
I attended middle school open house last week and am again impressed with the energy and talent of the teachers. The Independence School is able to attract and keep an amazing group of teachers. We have been impressed with the teaching talent at every grade level along the way and to see this again in middle school is tremendous.
The Independence School has provided my 2 children with a loving, academically challenging environment where they have been encouraged to thrive.
As an alumna of Independence, I can say with total confidence: this place is truly unique, in the best way possible. I had the most incredible, devoted teachers during my 11 years there and always felt like every member of the staff was working together to provide me personally as an individual with deep, long-lasting educational excellence. From the academics to the extracurricular offerings, Independence prepared me far better for high school, college, and beyond than any other educational opportunity could have done. I cannot recommend the school enough for its dedication to providing every student, regardless of background, with an education that is far above average in all the fundamentals that enable success later in life. I went on to success at a local private high school, and then at an Ivy League university, and I give much of the credit directly to the study skills and building blocks I imbued through the loving, supportive Independence environment.
I have been a parent at Independence for 10 years and could not be more pleased with the experience my children have each day. Not only are they receiving a phenomenal education, but are encouraged to be the best individual they can be. They are taught and given respect and are expected to be good citizens. They experience a mix of traditional learning and hands-on lessons with technology that supports the outstanding curriculum. The teachers are true educators who have a passion for influencing, guiding, and directing young people. I know my children will have a successful future because of the solid foundation on which their future is being built. As we look to high schools, the admission directors express their pleasure in having an Independence student. I have been told that they transition easily and quickly make their mark. Yes, it is a sacrifice to send two children to Independence, but the return on this investment is invaluable. As a parent, I believe that my children are worth this investment.
Children who are educated at the Independence School are continuously sought out by local private high schools. Independence students stand out when they matriculate to other schools. It is evident to the teachers, the other students, and to the Independence graduates themselves. They are well-prepared and often find the demands of their first year in high school to be far less challenging than students from other schools.
I am the parent of a 3 year old and 4 year old @ The Independence School. The early child hood division at Independence is second to none. My oldest son is in his second year in the program and has grown tremendously over a very short time. The teachers are experts in child development and they truly love and care about the children. Both of my boys are excited to go to school each day and we are amazed at what they are learning and accomplishing at such a young age. We feel our children will have such a huge head start in their education and we feel blessed to be able to call Independence our school home.
My son joined the Independence family as a fourth grader. He immediately fell in love with the school and couldn't believe how much he learned in just the first week. The students welcomed him, and the teachers worked with us to make his transition happen easily. As he continued over the next five years, I watched him develop into a confident, well-educated student. He is currently in his first year in high school and in all honor leveled classes. He comments often about how prepared he is from Independence and how the other students in his classes are struggling. Thank you Independence for being not only a big part of his academic development but also the overall development of him as a young man ready to enter the 21st century!
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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